One of Dubuque’s first families of art, this exhibition was a mix of contemporary and earlier artwork from the Frederick Bissell Jr. family, exploring their shared artistic talents and love of nostalgia. Works from Frederick, his wife Susan Adams-Bissell, sons John and Fred, and daughter Susie Bissell-Mansfield were presented. Frederick Bissell (1910-1983) taught history at his alma mater Harvard from 1933-1937 and was employed at Caradco for 30 years. He enjoyed painting in his spare time and always encouraged his children in art. Susan Adams-Bissell (1906-1999) had little formal training as an artist; however she attended the Stone City art colony under the tutelage of Iowa Regionalist artists Grant Wood and Marvin Cone. She developed her innate artistic talent by painting scenes from her many travels in the states and abroad, and by copying images by master artists that she found in magazines. She also enjoyed holding painting and sculpting classes at the family home on Alpine Street. John Bissell was born in 1938 and received degrees from the Kansas City Art Institute and the University of Iowa. He worked in graphic design for 16 years and has been a successful, full-time artist in Dubuque since 1984, where he holds a much anticipated invitation-only sale of his paintings every year. Fred Bissell (b. 1940) only dabbled in the visual arts, like his father, and yet he too exhibited artistic talent. He lives in Dubuque and owns Alpine Tennis and Fitness. Susie Bissell-Mansfield was born in 1942 and has a studio in Norwood, Colorado where she works as a full-time artist. Like her mother, she received no formal training in art. However, growing up in a family that encouraged artistic endeavors and attending painting and sculpting workshops throughout her childhood and as an adult, Mansfield is also a successful artist.
Bissells: A Family of Artists
September 8, 2009 - November 8, 2009
Organized by the Dubuque Museum of Art